Russian news source suggests Russia played significant role in fighting deadly diseases

A recent article by the Russkyi Reporter credited Soviet Union scientists with discoveries that eliminated some of the worst infectious diseases the world has ever seen, including smallpox, the plague and cholera.

Smallpox is a highly infectious and deadly disease, and was the first infectious disease to be completely eradicated. While English physician Edward Jenner developed the first effective smallpox vaccine, health authorities in the Soviet Union drew an international plan to eradicate the disease, which was adopted by the World Health Organization in 1967 and played a large part in the eradication of the disease worldwide, according to Russia Beyond the Headlines.

The first vaccine against the plague was developed by Vladimir Khavkin of the Soviet Union in the late 19th century. The vaccine was not responsible for the complete eradication of the plague, but it did reduce mortality by a factor of 10 and contributed to the overall global fight against the pandemic, Russia Beyond the Headlines reports.

The same scientist who developed the first vaccine against the plague, Khavkin, also developed one of the first effective vaccines against cholera. The vaccine was responsible for a 72 percent reduction in mortality during a study in 1895 in India. An updated version of Khavkin's vaccine is still recommended by the WHO today, according to Russia Beyond the Headlines.